how to deal with three at a time?

Zeenat - posted on 07/10/2010 ( 25 moms have responded )

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hi , i'm in the teaching field for fourteen years . dealing with many kids at a time has never been a problem for me . but at home it's a different story -i can't cope with my three kids at a time ( they are 10,6,2 respectively ) they are always fighting , claiming more more and more attention . the more i do the more they need . i try my best to please all three plus my husband who is like having an adolescent boy at home but seems no one is satisfied . i think i'm doing it all wrong and i'm ready to start in a new way and replan every single routine so that we all find peace at home . i've always dreamt of a LARGE HAPPY FAMILY . i'm here because i can see that things are going out of my hands .please help me construct my happy family -seems i'm not moving in the right direction .may be your experience might help a really stressed out mum -thanks

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Tonygyrl - posted on 07/16/2010

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I have four kids and two step daughters, so when all of them are at home with me I have five girls and 1 boy ages 14, 12, 11, 10, 10, and 20 months. My son is one of the 10yr olds. My husband is a truck driver, He is home 2 1/2 days out of the week so I am practically a single mother. My husband and I have a date night once a week and we spend the entire time that he is home with our kids. We rarely eat out and we eat dinner as a family at our table everyday. we are close knit we watch movies together in our bed with all of the kids laying on and all around us. My husband cooks on the days he is home. He is a great cook that's his passion and we are considering opening a sandwich shop or wing shop so that he leave his job as a trucker an can be home everyday. I love kids and I love my big family. I can manage all six of my kids on my own with no problems. I think you have to tell your kids what your expectations are just like we tell our students and you must give them consequences for their actions immediately just like you do in your classroom. I don't spank my kids because they are intelligent and old enough to be talked to and reasoned with. I do punish them and take things away from them.

Tonygyrl - posted on 07/16/2010

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I have four children 14, 11, 10, and 20 months. I can relate to cleaning my kids rooms when they where like 6, 3, and 2. I had recently divorced their dad a year earlier but I was a homemaker when we were together and I thought I was being a good mom to them by cleaning their room. They would totally destroy the room but one day my now husband who at the time was just my boyfriend came home from work one day and I was in there cleaning their room once again. He got upset about it and talked to them and told them they were old enough to clean their own room and he didn't think it was fair to me that they tear up the room and I have to clean it up each day. I haven't had to clean their rooms since that day. He is the father of my 20 month old. She cleans up behind herself right now. Her dad doesn't make any exceptions. I told him she is just a baby but he said she needs to learn to clean up her mess. He proved to me that she understood because she learned and he only had to show her a couple of times. Kids do what we ALLOW them to do. My husband is a great support to me! He really takes care of me! Kids are manipulative sometimes and will try to play parents againt each other if they can. You need to talk to your husband. He needs to be more supportive of you when it comes to the kids and just know that the kids require more attention right now but it won't always be this way. I would suggest a date night so that you and your husband can have alone time where you can just focus on each other. I hope this helps.

Nancy - posted on 07/21/2010

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I taught for 31 years, and had 2 boys. I was a single mom for a 5 yr. period when they were young. I would pull my hair out all evening because of the craziness of what would go on each night. My neighbor told me to come home from school, ignore the phone, and everything else for 15 min. and give totally uninterrupted time to my boys. I made a world of difference!!!! They miss you and will do whatever it takes to get your attention. If you just give it to them, they are satisfied.

Robyn - posted on 07/17/2010

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I am a sinlgle mom of a nine year old boy. Since he was 3, he has had chores to do, as well as keeping his room clean. Se started with such things as putting the silverware in the drawer (after I took out the knives). He knows that I work and I respect that he works, too (as a student). My house is not spotless, by any means, but the dishes are done, clothes in the hamper. When he asks for a friend to come over or use his electronics on a Saturday, now he starts with, "Mom, my room is clean and the dusting is done. . ." Don't know if this helps, but it works for us.

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Thank you so much for all the posts! The kids are cleaning now as we speak, and have been working on it for most of the day. I agree that these suggestions have been helpful and I will try some of the ideas in my choatic home. I am ready for school to start!

Beth - posted on 08/05/2010

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This has been soooooo helpful to me. I too struggle with keeping the house clean, especially when school is in session. Our home every afternoon is like a warzone. I'm tired from teaching all day and the boys are wild! I feel like an ill, hateful, hag bossing everybody around. I so want to be a good mom, but I usually end of feeling like I've been the worst in the world. These suggestions are great and I am going to try them.

Cherie - posted on 08/04/2010

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My children are all over the place. I have three, 2 boys and 1 girl - 12, 6, and 6 months. My 6 month old has not yet grown to chores, but the older two like to walk all over me when it comes to cleaning up after themselves. Well, I will say they USED to walk all over me. They still have their days of defiance, but when I'm home, I'm a drill sgt. With a Mom-twist. I make a list up at the beginning of the day and let them know what needs to be done. If it's not done, they get nothing - no games, no tv, no friends over, nothing. This affects my oldest the most. Chores are starting to get done now and I give them no slack.

Attention was always a problem for my oldest. He was 7 when I divorced his father (which was long and grueling) so he lacked my attention during that time. But I have learned to balance things out. When he's craving attention and I'm in the middle of something, he will start to have one of his "lose-his-mind" moments. I back him down and let him know that I will be with him when my task is complete. Not before. I tell him I love him but he has to wait. Of course, he only wants my attention when it is directed elsewhere.

My 6 year old, on the other hand, does what Mommy says. He was an infant during the divorce and has only known me and my rules. Much like the rest of you, I too have an adult adolescent in the house. My husband is wonderful with the kids, but has his moments of encouraging chaos when I'm seeking order. It's a tough battle, one I still struggle with, but you'll find your niche.

Kelsy - posted on 07/31/2010

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In response to getting older kids to clean up: My kids are young and I take away things or withhold things they want when they do not do what they are supposed to do. I do not give them extra rewards for doing what they are supposed to do. "Cleaning up before leaving" is a responsibility rule. Example-"We will not leave for the party until the room is clean." The incentive is going to the party, but it is their choice whether they get it done and go. They have a choice, but the choice has consequences. TV, movie, phone, computer time, use of car, time with friends-may be things that need to be incentives/consequences for older children to follow rules and responsibilities. Not sure what you have tried, but I know consistently following through and immediate response is important at any age. Not an expert, but I pray this help. In Christ, Kelsy

Kelsy - posted on 07/31/2010

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Also-Summers are hard, too. They are bored and you are tired. Plan inside and outside activities, snacks and quiet times. Make your home kid-friendly, or they will drive you crazy messing up the house. Set clean up times at a couple of times in the day or you will go crazy cleaning up all day. :)

Kelsy - posted on 07/31/2010

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I am a mom of four, 1, 3, 5, and 9; one special needs child. I am looking for a teaching position and wondering about the same issues. I do not have all of the teacher responsibilities yet, and the kids are so needy at home. My husband is home at night and does what he can, but works 13-14 hours/day. My advice-Mom/teacher needs a break to refresh. Try to find a sitter for a day or half day, every week or two to give yourself a recharge time. That helps me, but I do not have a friend who will watch four at a time, so hubby has to do it. Hubby time is important, too. :) I find the advice about giving the the kids time is important. Individual special time and group/familytime. I just have to let some/alot of things go. Even though there are things Mom needs/wants to do, they need you most at this time in their lives. Routines are great, but a schedule is important, too. They want to know what is going on and like a schedule, just like the kids in the classroom. If I do not stick to the plan and I try to take a break for too long, chaos happens. I find that taking away priveleges (sp?) works with the older ones and immediate response, every time, works with all behavior issues. I do throw in a couple of unexpected rewards. Someone said it is not going to be like this for ever. It is just a season of our lives. It is hard right now. I love my kids and do not want to be the bossy, mean mom, but I also want them to be responsible and respectful. My doctor says, "Be the parent, not the friend. Be consistent. Environment is important-loving, kissing, and hugging, not screaming, yelling, fussing and fighting." Prayer ultimately saves me. Find a support group who will pray for you. Well, my three year old is not getting enough attention and is trying to make his own toast. I pray you find peace in your home and that my advice helps. In Christ, Kelsy

Zeenat - posted on 07/24/2010

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oh dear -we teachers are so typical - i can see myself panicked upon hearing the doorbell and asking everyone to clean up .
are we like maniacs or is it normal ? i would so much like to know what my kids really think about me so that i could change to be THEIR perfect mum - we teachers like so much perfection

Laura - posted on 07/24/2010

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I have enjoyed reading all of these responses so much. I could have written each one because they all apply to me. I struggled to keep my home neat, and if you lesson to my kids, now 27, 23, and 10, they say all I ever did was clean and boss everyone around to clean, I would panic when the doorbell rang thinking "Oh my gosh, my house is so messy!" I must say now that they have moved out - their homes are CLEAN. As far as the loud "teacher" voice, I was just told the other day by my mother that I was very bossy-hey things need to get done. When the kids were in high school and they would bring me an essay to edit, it always seemed late, and I was so tired, but I would the paper and it never failed - we would have strong words because I marked the paper up and wanted them to rewrite... the kids would correct spelling errors, and left the rest.

Zeenat - posted on 07/22/2010

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nowadays on holidays and i tried the tips of giving true real uninterrupted time to them - i even left the dishes the room and all while we were having fun - then at some point we stopped and to my surprise they all helped me cleaning and doing house chores . we were like friends and covered up each other's mess - what a pleasure

Mary - posted on 07/21/2010

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I have three kids (11, 6, and 9 months) and my oldest are definetly getting sick of eachother this summer. They fight a lot. I have taken to sending them both to their rooms for as long as they need or I need. I also take away priviledges and offer chances for them to earn priviledges.
I rely on their help to keep our house clean and get things done. My hubby isn't great help around the house, but my sons will be when they are husbands! They clean up toys, swiffer floors, vaccuum, shake rugs, empty the trash and put away dishes. They do get to do fun things when we get done, like play the Wii, watch a movie, or play football in the yard. When they are really naughty I make them do the worst jobs, like clean the bathroom, fold clothes, or pull weeds. My sons (the oldest two) are learning that everyone pitches in and helps take care of our family and home. I hope these are lessons they will carry with them into adulthood.

Carri - posted on 07/17/2010

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When fighting or using a disrespectful tone of voice towards anyone, my daughter gets sent to her room until she is ready to talk about issues calmly.

Carri - posted on 07/17/2010

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Uhm...I only have one child (9 year old daughter) so I'm not sure I can help completely but she doesn't get to play outside until her room is clean. She has other chores also (feeding the pets, unloading and reloading the dishwasher, gathering dirty clothes, folding clean laundry and putting away her clothes) and these chores need to be done before she gets her reward of playing outside, watching TV, playing with her itouch, etc. Some of these chores are done every day and some are done on "cleaning days". I always praise her when she does a chore and she has actually started to do additional chores on her own. Again, I only have one that I have to nag so this may not be the perfect solution but I wanted to try to help.

Carol - posted on 07/16/2010

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I am like the first two oyou..I have three girls 17, 12 and 11. I too have a hard time geting my children to pick up after themselves and clean their rooms. I have tried all sorts of incentives, even money or promises of allowing them to have pets etc. and nothing seems to work. Is there anyone out there with some tips on how to get children to help out at home?

Tonygyrl - posted on 07/16/2010

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I think that is a trait of teachers. One day my husband ask me why was I talking to him so loud like he was one of my students. I have to check myself a lot because sometimes I do find myself talking in my teacher voice.

Zeenat - posted on 07/14/2010

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ha ha that's my case also -i tend to explain one thing twice or in different words and ask if the other person has understood and all ...typical teaching techniques .plus he says i talk too loud as though i was in class that i'm losing my feminity and is bossing around. by the way i was also questioning myself about who's gonna help us - we are ust sharing and we have similar problems -we can't be of great help to each other except for sharing... so what's next

[deleted account]

Where's our help on this? Won't anyone else get in on this conversation and offer some advice? Another issue I'm having lately, is my husband says I'm being mean and controling. I think that's another trait of teachers - to try to control EVERYTHING!

Zeenat - posted on 07/13/2010

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oh dear how many times will we blame ourselves -yes i agree may be we give soooo much of ourselves at work that when it's our kids'turn we are off. but they have a big big hand in bringing us at breaking point . i strongly believe there's a way out to manage our kiddies ,hubby n work plus our own little self -we r just finding it difficult to find that easy solution

[deleted account]

I think it's both us and our kids that have bad organizational skills. If we taught our own children better, then they wouldn't be that way. It's a hard thing to have to admit. But, I think it's true. We need to look closer at how we model for our own kids. I must be setting a bad example, or I'm enabling them to walk all over me.

Zeenat - posted on 07/12/2010

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actually in mauritius but soon moving to quebec-canada.god knows how i'll cope ina new city with my "angels" -you know what i mean .they are sweet but at the same time they drive me mad . is it us that have bad organisational skills or are kids like that nowadays

[deleted account]

This sounds like me!! Did I post this? I know totally what you mean. I can manage a class of 22, but when it comes to my own children, things are chaotic! The ages of my kids are: 9, 7, and 5. They fight a lot and the house is always a mess. They don't clean up after themselves. I clean their rooms spotless and it will stay clean only for a day or two. They always want my attention too and my husband is the same way! He gets mad if I pay too much attention to the kids and not him. Where do you live? We have alot in common!!

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